Tuesday, May 24, 2016

Got poppies?

Poppies are the symbol of remembrance

Next Monday, May 30, is Memorial Day. This holiday, which has come to mark the start of summer, is set aside to remember, and honor, those who made the ultimate sacrifice to protect the freedoms we hold dear.

Goochland American Legion Post 215 will sponsor a Memorial Day observance on the Courthouse Green to commemorate those who went to war and did not come home. The event begins at 10 a.m. Bring a chair and your kids and grandkids. Teach them, by example, how to respect the flag and national anthem.

Boy Scouts from Troop 710 will lead a Children’s Parade which is open to all children under 12, no registration necessary. The parade will march around the Green to patriotic music played by the Henrico Concert Band. They will lead the Pledge of Allegiance and Elizabeth Kugel will sing the National Anthem.

Guest speaker this year is Major Mike Petruzziello from the Goochland High School MCJROTC program. The Ceremony is highlighted with military precision by the MCJROTC Honor Guard, Firing Detail by the Marine Corps League Honor Guard and military displays by veterans.

The Historical Society will open its museum; the Stone Jail will be visible from the windows.
Post 215 Auxiliary members, assisted this year by the Girls State candidates Erin Watcher, Sydney Hawk, Askia Nealy, Lauren Creasey, and Chelsey Stout, will be present with American Flags and the red poppies. Donations for the poppies go towards the veteran and military assistance programs.

The use of poppies as the symbol of remembrance of our war dead, harkens back to the end of World War I, almost a century ago. Soldiers who survived “the war to end all wars” brought home tales of wild red poppies sprouting from blood-soaked battle fields of Europe. Moina Michael of Atlanta, moved by the poem In Flanders Field, bought a bunch of poppies in November, 1918 ad handed them out to businessmen, asking them to wear the flowers in remembrance of those who died. She was instrumental in adoption of the poppy as the symbol of sacrifice.

Moina Michael distributed poppies in 1918 to honor those killed in World War I

According to alaforveterans.org , American Legion Auxiliary members raised more than $5.5 million last year from poppy donations, used exclusively to support active-duty military, veterans and their families through the Auxiliary’s outreach program services. Veterans handcraft the flowers with assistance from unpaid volunteers.

Legion Auxiliary members do not sell poppies – they “distribute” them, with a request that the person receiving the poppy make a donation to the poppy fund to support their veteran outreach programs.

Dig deep to let our veterans know you care and remember those who will never come home.

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